Church wants to use MSMA
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Author:  Pamzilla [ Sun Oct 19, 2003 4:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Church wants to use MSMA

Our country church is trying to find a way to care for the lawn maintenance of our cemetary. The use of MSMA was brought up as a way to control the tall perenial grasses. I didn't mind too much using RoundUp around the base of the headstones to cut down on weedeating but using another chemical so liberally makes me cringe. I tried to find web information about the toxicity and uselessness of this idea but didn't get much. Any ideas on research material would really help.


Author:  jrosto [ Mon Oct 20, 2003 5:23 am ]
Post subject: 

Here is a good thread on MSMA.

http://www.dirtdoctor.com/forum/viewtop ... light=msma

I hope it helps

Author:  Kathe Kitchens [ Mon Oct 20, 2003 6:53 am ]
Post subject:  MSMA

This stuff is so toxic. I just cringe when people put this on soil where children will be playing...it's got arsenic in it, for gosh sakes! And not to be critical but take a look at glyphosates like RoundUp and I think you'll change your mind about it. I agree keeping weeds down is a pain but 20% vinegar with orange oil & soap works just as well or better and doesn't carry all the toxins with it. Maybe you could suggest this as an alternative. I believe it's our duty to take care of God's beautiful creation and not pollute it with things like that. Maybe you could get them to look at it from that perspective? Blessings & good fortune in your crusade.

Author:  jmeier [ Tue Oct 21, 2003 8:26 am ]
Post subject: 

are there going to be that many children playing in a cemetery...not that I am condoning the chemical or anything... :wink:

Author:  Kathe Kitchens [ Tue Oct 21, 2003 8:45 am ]
Post subject:  Chemicals

No, I'm not that silly :roll: :lol: ...But in my old country church we had situations where children were present and sitting on the ground. People go through to visit graves & put flowers on them and walk through for other reasons. It gets on their shoes and it migrates through the soil to other places on the property, like playgrounds and other places where people sit down on the soil and children roll in the grass. It's not just kids, its anyone and everyone and every THING. Both MSMA and glyphosates accumulate and poison the soil, and that's not what you want anywhere near you. Especially in a place where you worship the Creator.

Besides, there is an organic solution to everything chemical. Why use something negative when you can use something positive? We should enrich the earth, not kill it. Is that a simple philosophy or what?
:D Kathe

Author:  Nadine [ Tue Oct 21, 2003 5:27 pm ]
Post subject: 

From a post by Enyme11:http://www.dirtdoctor.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1356
If you are going to use a toxic and persisent agent, it certainly is laudable to do it in the most minimal and localized way possible. That said, urea occurs naturally in the body; Ar does not. I sort of doubt that urea in the ordinary exposure is carcinogenic or neurogenic, but arsenic surely is. Would you also equate arsenic to pure water? I am not as sanguine as you about the breakdown products of MSMA, particularly the carcinogenic cacodylic acid. I would not be surprised if the background levels of all arsenic variants is fairly high in N. Texas, given the years of applications of Ironite and arsenated cotton defoliants. I shouldn't take that as license to compound the problem. Even so, you miss a bit by thinking that the arsenic stays away from you. If it's in the lawn, it's in the ambient dust; if it's in the ambient dust, it's in your house; if it's in your house it's in you and your 9-year old. You like to walk barefoot among heavy metals? Why take that risk? You rightly speak of science, but it doesn't appear that you have much idea of what flora and fauna should exist naturally in your arguably artificial lawn. As such, how do you propose to determine whether your efforts are adversely impacting the system? The tact of judging those efforts by seeing whether they affect what is there now presupposes a more robust system than likely is present.

If you are willing to hand-apply the material and if your background is as you say it is, perhaps you might try applications of less toxic and less persistent materials before subsidizing China's arsenic production. If you insist on an impractical one-shot application approach, I might begin with something that should be familiar to you--osmolarity, perhaps in the form of a super-saturated salt solution. I might even progress up the ladder to something as hazardous as a fairly concentrated acid--after I've tried the less hazardous choices. A little R&D might be a good thing, and it just may be that proper lawn care might reduce your nut grass problem over time as the system moves back into a more natural balance. All in all, it seems that jumping directly to a highly toxic heavy metal compound to destroy another naturally occurring thing for mostly cosmetic purposes is a bit like taking up smoking to appear cool.

Wherever that nifty MSMA is made, its production leaves the surrounding and downstream ecosystems and people substantially worse off than things likely are in your patch of green. Part of the Natural Way is to take the load off of everyone, not only the end user's local setting. Finally, the current state of apparent knowledge often is a thin reed on which to rest an aggressive tactic. We don't know much about long range effects of many commonly accepted practices, mostly because they haven't been studied rigorously. That, of course, is a large flaw in the pesticide myth -- no look, no see, no apparent instant damage, no worries. Welcome to the Natural Way.

Author:  chuckfranke [ Tue Oct 21, 2003 7:18 pm ]
Post subject: 


Since the above thread was in response to me and Nadine and I made up...

I keep saying this but it bears repeating - I am all for organic, on chemicals I want data - not because I am promoting them but I want to get a clear idea of what is in them, what their use does to the soil etcetera, etcetera before I condemn them.

For a large area like a graveyard my first thought would be to volunteer to help. Where are you???? If Hubbard is anywhere near Dallas count me and my 8-year old in for this project.... I'll bring my tank sprayer and let's get some others to bring their favorite organic cures and let's show how well our philosophy works the old fashioned way - let's prove it! If Hubbard is within reasonable distance of Dallas I'll even chauffer a few others.

I will bet you 2 cookies and a glass of milk that the church will be happy to let your microbe hugging friends here do it for free.

WOW, now there is a big old nasty gauntlet - who else is willing to join me and volunteer to help zap them nasty weeds the organic way???????

Who believes in this idea enough to ensure healthy microbes around granny's headstone????????????????????????? Let's set it up and prove a point.

(Can't you just see Belushi in Animal House rallying the troops with his "was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?" speech in this post????)

Author:  Nadine [ Tue Oct 21, 2003 9:12 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hubbard in Hill County is 95.78 miles away from Lewisville (Denton County).

Hubbard in Bowie County is 165.66 miles away from Lewisville.

Do I see a road trip in the near future? :)

Would there be a spaghetti dinner afterward? Oh, no need, I really like visiting graveyards. 8) I think they are fascinating. I used to have quite a collection of tombstone rubbings.

Author:  chuckfranke [ Tue Oct 21, 2003 9:28 pm ]
Post subject: 

I am only gonna say this one time and i want you to listen to me.

Absolutely no digging for really old finished compost with bone meal already included - I mean it - while it may be ecologically correct it is considered poor taste.

If it's the Hubbel 95 miles away I am in.... I may make a pot of my sauce for the spaghetti if the church will heat it - fair warning - I have friends who drive 200 miles for my sauce and I buy my groceries in Italy when we go there on business every 6 weeks.... it is worth an afternoon of free gardening.

Author:  Kathe Kitchens [ Thu Oct 23, 2003 9:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Road Trip

Okay, you jokers. :wink: :lol: Let's put our time/money where our mouths are. I'm in for this road trip if you are. Let me know when & where. I'll bring my own stuff and whatever else will help. So how about it, Pamzilla? Does the church say yes? Any more takers? Chuckfranke, you are a welcome and encouraging additon to the fold! :D

Author:  Pamzilla [ Fri Oct 24, 2003 9:42 am ]
Post subject:  `

Wow how exciting! I am thrilled so many want to make a positive impact in our church's cemetary.

Only problem I see is that this is a small country church that can be fickle. I don't want to step an any toes.

Also I am not sure what can really be done. The cemetary is basically "prairie" with perenial grasses popping up every season and often a foot tall in a weeks time after mowing. This combined with tall headstones to weed around makes this a huge all day job. We hired a lawn care service to come out 10 times this year for about $3000. To keep the grounds perfect we would need three times this for about $10,000. With a church that has a budget of only $75,000 a year that is way too expensive.

This is a problem for many small cemetaries. One cemetary nearby wiped out ALL vegetation as a solution! It is mostly gravel and they likely spray it contantly to kill weeds that poke through. This won't happen to ours because we at least agree that cemetary is hideous.

On a side note, since my husband and I joined this church three years ago, we have planted about 30 trees in this cemetary where there once was only one. We got all kinds of worried questions like, "Ain't ya gonna stake them trees so they don't blow over?" We didn't listen and by golly those trees are still upright despite being surrounded by huge crop fields without any windbreak!

If anyone has a suggestion I'd be grateful. And hey, if there are really those who want to come work in a very old cemetary I'll set up a Saturday for a project party. Besides I'd love to meet other organo-heads!


Author:  Gar [ Fri Oct 24, 2003 1:41 pm ]
Post subject: 

Kathe and Chuck, if you guys are serious, I would like to donate my time as well. All cemeteries are worth taking care of, especially the old ones. After we complete the job, maybe Kathe and me can tour the cemetery and look at all the old head stones. I really enjoy walking thru old cemeteries and reading the headstones. I might get lucky and find one of my relatives. Let me know. Maybe we can find some more organic people in the DFW area who would also like to help out. Plus I get to meet the people I have been communicating with on this board. Lets all go and have a good time while keeping MSMA out of the cemetery.

Author:  Kathe Kitchens [ Fri Oct 24, 2003 3:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Goin' to Hubbard!

Okay, it's a date! :wink: I love going through old cemeteries too. The headstones can be really interesting. So set it up and let's go. I'd like to meet everyone too. I think I'm free the weekend of Nov. 7 & 8 if that sounds like good timing to ya'll. Would everyone like to bring something to share and have a picnic? I can drive but I have a little Toyota hybrid and it doesn't hold more than 4 people.

Suggestion for something we can do to help within the next few weeks, if the weather doesn't get too cold too soon: Plant some beautiful clover! It stays low and should do very well out there. WE could also see about getting some buffalo grass seed since it's a good time to plant both. How's that sound? It's not overwhelmingly expensive and it's easy to do. If you're in the town of Hubbard down toward Waco, there's a place called Sam's Nursery where we can get organic products so we don't have to carry everything with us. I can bring some tools, liquid products & a spray canister but we'll need to buy the clover seed. Who knows the cheapest place for that? I know there are several feed stores that carry them and I called Sam's to see if they have clover seed but haven't gotten them to answer their phone yet. Maybe we'll need to bring it with us. Should we pitch in for the cost? I'm willing to put out a few bucks plus my time. What do you think, Pamzilla?

Wow this is cool! 8) 8) 8) I'll be looking forward to this!

Author:  Pamzilla [ Fri Oct 24, 2003 7:52 pm ]
Post subject: 

Well I think buffalo grass is a great idea. Will it choke out the taller grasses? Unfortunately it is expensive at $400/50lbs. We would need 100 lbs to cover the cemetary. Would Marshall Grain sell it cheap for charity?

My husband and I have a four wheeler with large spreader to make quick work of the seed and any amendments we might want. With buffalo grass I'm not sure we'd need any but hey we'll use whatever is offered. :)

Our church can make whatever arrangements are needed for food and beverages. Hot coffee/chocolate if cold or lemonade if hot. It's Texas who knows! Or like someone wanted, bring in pasta sauce or whatever you all want.

The church is near Malone which is 8 miles before Hubbard on Hwy 171.

Directions from Dallas:
Take I-35 south to Milford exit
Go through Milford by taking a right on Hwy 77
Then a left at FM 308
Continue on 308 about 10 miles
Between Irene and Milford look for the Salem Lutheran Church sign on the right
Take a right at the dirt road
Church will quickly come into view

Directions from Ft. Worth:
Take I-35 south to Hillsboro
Take Hwy 171 south, left over interstate
In Malone take left at FM 308
One mile out of town look for Salem Lutheran Church sign on left
Take left at the dirt road
Church will quickly come into view

We are excited about the enthusiasm for making our cemetary nicer and showing of the talents of organic types!

Also, if anyone wants to make a weekend out of this there is a nice B&B in Hubbard. Their website is www.gardengablestx.com. They are super nice with a beautifully restored 100 year old home with lots of privacy for guests.

Author:  Gar [ Sat Oct 25, 2003 10:58 am ]
Post subject: 

How big is this cemetery? Approx how many acres? I have been trying to locate clover seed, up here in the DFW area. I am told to inquire how many acres will determine how many bags of clover are required.

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